By Jeff Halper
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Extra resources for An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel
When pictures of refugees appeared on the screen she said: “What a shame. People only live once. ” This corny philosophy, which still informs my thought and actions, no matter how critical or “intellectual” I become, finds expression in Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (1988). I’m not sure if they are universal—I’m not even sure those are rules followed by Jews in Brooklyn—but they do define the values that until today shape my political views and analyses.
The driver of the bulldozer, we learned later, was himself a Palestinian, employed by the Israeli wrecking company. He came from a village near Jerusalem that had been demolished after the 1948 war—and, it turned out, he knew Salim. Compelled to drive by his Israeli employer and unable to risk losing his job, he found himself dodging stones thrown by other Palestinians. When, after demolishing only half of the house, he tried to drive away, Micha and the soldiers ran after him and forced him to return until the home was reduced to rubble.
In order to support both the Jewish state of Israel and the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, Peace Now can accept only one solution to the conflict: a two-state solution in which a Palestinian state emerges in the territories conquered by Israel in 1967: the West Bank, Gaza and a shared Jerusalem. It also opposes the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. Many other peace groups have also arisen within this Zionist framework. “Courage to Refuse” was launched with a letter to Sharon’s government in 2002 signed by more than 635 reservist soldiers (another 1,000 have signed on since) declaring their refusal to serve in the Occupied Territories.
An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel by Jeff Halper